Don't Take it Personally


It’s a little difficult to do what we do everyday and not be passionate about Art. Each of us can probably point to a particular artist or art movement and find our personal voice resonating with every brushstroke or found object. We have an experience with that particular work or artist that sometimes goes beyond or trivializes description. We need to realize, as art teachers, that although our passion and excitement for art may be inspiring to some students, others will either not have or refuse to have the ability to relate either because they haven’t found that art voice yet, or because they are a 12 year-old. So when you are introducing that particular art passion to your students and they don’t seem to connect or even snicker, don’t take it personally.  If you feel your blood pressure increasing because of a student comment or that all too familiar roll-of-the-eyes, back down. Move on. This also goes for the project that you were sure they would love. It may be a successful lesson plan and, at the same time, not be a success with all of your students. Don’t take it personally. This even relates to classroom conduct. Anger to anger solves nothing. You can discuss the issue with the student without taking the conduct as a personal threat. Try to imagine what horrible underlying conflict this student could be facing at home or at school that causes the negative behavior. Above all, when you are dealing with the issue, do not take it personally. Address it and move on. Let Art Class be the place the student can find solace and their own personal voice.